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SSP Daily Digest: 9/17

by: Crisitunity

Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 3:29 PM EDT

AK-Sen: All signs are now pointing toward a Lisa Murkowski write-in bid, although nothing is official yet. But she's inviting supporters to a "campaign kickoff" tonight, which are certainly not the words of someone ready to go gently into that good night. She seems undeterred by the fact that the Tea Party Express already fired a shot across her bow yesterday, warning her to be a "good team member" and saying they'll resume spending money against her if she does. Meanwhile, hilarious and slightly damning news on the Joe Miller front, as it turns out that he, like so many other teabagger candidates this year, was a recipient of $14K in farm subsidies over the decade for a thousand acres of land he owned near Fairbanks. Y'know, subsidies from the federal government that he hates so much, in order to pay for the otherwise-unprofitable way of life that he chose. (Can you even grow anything near Fairbanks? That may be the most surprising part of the story to me.)

DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons faced off in their first appearance together, and O'Donnell seemed to be doing a lot of rhetorical distancing from the O'Donnell that had existed up until Tuesday. Meanwhile, O'Donnell is now facing the wrath of multiple ex-aides, all willing to dish to Politico on the trainwrecks that were previous O'Donnell campaigns.

IL-Sen: Illinois-based Republican-linked robo-pollster We Ask America is out with their second poll of the IL-Sen race, giving Mark Kirk a 39-36 link over Alexi Giannoulias. That's better than their previous offering, which gave Kirk a 6-point edge.

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's "Cheddarbomb" sounds like it was very successful, bringing in at least $435K in one day's worth of contributions.

AR-Gov: With yesterday's PPP NH-Gov poll, I think it's now safe to say that Mike Beebe is officially the nation's safest Democratic incumbent governor this year. The gubernatorial half of yesterday's Mason-Dixon poll on behalf of Arkansas News Service is out, and Beebe leads Republican challenger Jim Keet by 21 points, 54-33. (One other very important detail: currently, Beebe has $2.5 million CoH, while Keet has $9,000.) Given the state's turn to the red this cycle, Dems should be glad that they aren't defending an open seat here, though, as in the open Lt. Governor race, Dem state Sen. Shane Broadway is barely leading Some Dude (Mark Darr) 36-34.

CA-Gov: Well, my cynicism has been eased a bit, I guess: Bill Clinton will be giving Jerry Brown the full endorsee treatment and not just throwing him a bone, including stumping on his behalf (and Gavin Newsom's behalf too) in mid-October.

HI-Gov: It feels like the primary season wrapped up on Tuesday, but there's one last race that needs to be previewed: the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii, which will be settled in their regularly scheduled election tomorrow. The race pits ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie against former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in what's literally a clash of titans (the 72-year-old Abercrombie can bench-press 272 lbs., while former basketball player Hannemann is 6'7"). Hannemann seems to running a bit to Abercrombie's right, at least on social issues, and Abercrombie seems to have the late momentum based on polling and fundraising. The linked WaPo article points to some intriguing behind the scenes drama (with Dan Inouye behind Hannemann and Ed Case behind Abercrombie) and the racial resentments stirred by the race (Abercrombie is white, Hannemann is Samoan).

NM-Gov: The DGA is keeping the pressure on in New Mexico, hitting Susana Martinez again on staff bonuses and sweetheart deals. Bill Clinton, who's increasingly turning out to be the #1 Dem surrogate on the stump this cycle, is also now scheduled to stump on Diane Denish's behalf on Oct. 14 in the heavily-Latino northern town of Espanola.

NY-Gov: This may be the dumbest idea in the history of political advertising: send intentionally bad-smelling mailers to people's houses. Carl Paladino is trying to make the point that "something smells" in Albany, but there has to be a smarter way to do it than invading people's houses to intentionally physically sicken them.

CO-04: Hot on the heels of the NRA backing John Salazar next door in the 3rd, now they're also endorsing Democratic freshman Betsy Markey in the similarly rural, reddish 4th.

MI-09: There's a poll out in the 9th from a previously unknown (to us) pollster (The Rossman Group/Team Telcom) giving Rocky Raczkowski a small lead over Dem freshman Gary Peters, 45-41. Thanks to Paleo in the comments, we know that the Rossman Group is a PR firm associated with state-level GOP operative Audrey Perricone, so salt this one as you see fit.

NY-23: All that hoping paid off, and now the cat is now officially in the dryer! A replay of the special election is on, as Doug Hoffman, who narrowly lost the GOP primary to Matt Doheny, is saying that he is going to stick with the Conservative Line no matter what. (More accurately, Conservative party chair Michael Long, who's basically been Hoffman's puppetmaster for the last year, is the one saying that.)

TN-04: Sure, we've all been accused of harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse, but... oh, wait. We haven't? Well, Republican candidate Scott DesJarlais was accused by his ex-wife of all of that, in divorce filings from a decade ago. It's unclear how much this'll affect the direction of the race, though; buried deep in the Roll Call article is word of a late August internal poll on Lincoln Davis's behalf (released in response to a DesJarlais internal showing him within 4 of Davis), giving Davis a 51-40 lead. (No word on who Davis's pollster is.)

Mayors: Primary-defeated Dem incumbent Adrian Fenty somehow won the Republican mayoral primary. There wasn't a candidate, and Fenty got more write-in votes than anyone else. It didn't sound like Fenty was interested in turning coats and running again under the GOP aegis, and now the DC BoE is arguing that he couldn't anyway, as he would have had to be a member of the Republican Party as of the election date.

IE Tracker:
MO-Sen: $124K from Commonsense Ten against Roy Blunt
WV-01: $439K from American Future Fund against Mike Oliverio
NC-02, VA-09: $341K from Americans for Job Security against Bob Etheridge, $431K against Rick Boucher
AL-02: $414K from AFF against Bobby Bright
SC-05: $191K from AFF against John Spratt
NJ-03: $170K from AFF against John Adler
MI-01: $304K from AFF against Gary McDowell
GA-08: $346K from AFF against Jim Marshall
MI-07: $501K from AFF against Mark Schauer

PA-Sen: The DSCC rides to Joe Sestak's rescue with an ad tying Pat Toomey to George Bush's deficit-swelling tax policies, while the Club for Growth tries to walk a delicate balance, thanking Sestak for his military service before laying into his voting record
AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard's out with not one but three different ads using footage of Jan Brewer's tongue-tied performance at last month's debate, one of which focuses on her unproven allegations about headless bodies in the desert (and ending with the tagline "Is this the best Arizona can do?")
KS-Gov: The Kansas Moderate Majority PAC runs an anti-Sam Brownback ad hitting him on the flat tax, while Brownback is out with two ads of his own
MI-Gov: Virg Bernero's on the air, hitting Rick Sndyer for outsourcing jobs while he was head of Gateway
ID-01: Walt Minnick actually hits Raul Labrador for being too soft on illegal immigrants, saying it's "good business" for Labrador's immigration law practice
MI-01: 2 ads from Gary McDowell, one about cleaning up the Great Lakes and one hitting Dan Benishek on Social Security privatization
TX-17: Chet Edwards is doing the distancing-from-DC-Democrats game in his newest ad
WA-08: Suzan DelBene's first TV ad starts negative against Dave Reichert, hitting him on his financial reform vote and on earmarks, of all things

IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 50%
MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 45%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 5%
WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 51%

Crisitunity :: SSP Daily Digest: 9/17
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All that hoping paid off, and now the cat is now officially in the dryer!

I am not familiar with this idiom...

Cat Fud

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
Never mind. Can't believe I forgot that comic. Not thinking today.

Here I was thinking Crisitunity had some... unusual hobbies. Or pets.

[ Parent ]
SSP does not endorse
actually putting cats in dryers.

[ Parent ]
Is that comic panel where
   the preferred spelling "cat fud" came from?

52, male, disgruntled Democrat, CA-28

[ Parent ]
Speaking of NYS cat fud....
Interesting fall out in the Gov race.

In NY Gov & LT Gov run seperately in primary but together as a ticket in the General.

I believe only votes for the same ticket on different lines can be combined (and would love to get confirmation of this from SSP legal department).

Since Carl Paladino won the GOP line while his LT Gov candidate Tom Ognibene lost to Greg Edwards there are actually 3 different slates of Republicans running in November.

Paladino/Edwards on the Republican line, Lazio/Edwards on the Conservative line and Paladino/Ognibene on the Paladino created Taxpayers line.

I think according to NY election law any votes Edwards gets for Lt Gov on the Conservative line cannot be combined with his votes from the Republican line if he has a different Governor candidate as his ticket mate. Also any votes Paladino gets on his Taxpayers Party cant be combined with his GOP votes unless Ognibene drops out and is replaced by Edwards on the ticket.

I am sure the GOP will make some changes to the ticket to correct this problem before November.

I cant see Lazio sticking in the race. The Conservative Party's got too much to lose if they dont get 50,000 votes. they need to swap candidates or face losing their ballot status.

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[ Parent ]
I love New York elections
I'm from Pennsylvania, so this is a huge "WTF?!" for me.

23, Male, PA-05 (summer) PA-12 (winter)

[ Parent ]
if you're going to run the Lt. Gov and Gov on the same ticket you should have the Governor nominee pick his running mate instead of having both of them run in separate primaries and then merging them together. Because as we've seen here and in Illinois, that could lead to some serious problems.

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
I couldn't agree more n/t

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

[ Parent ]
He was Minority Leader in the New York City Council, and he gave a good impression, at least on TV. (What a great name, too! Ognibene is Italian for "All Good"!) He seemed moderate and reasonable, and spoke well enough, in my opinion. I think he'd be a much better candidate for Governor than anyone who actually ran for that position on the Republican line.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

[ Parent ]
Ognibene is a tell it like it is guy
He's an outer boro Queens conservative NY pol who always speaks rather bluntly. He tried to run a GOP primary from the right against Bloomberg in 2005 but Bloomberg challenged his petitions and had him booted from the ballot.  Ognibene kept running in the general as the Conservative Party candidate.

He kissed and made up with Bloomberg in 2009 and Bloomberg endorsed him in a failed attempt to regain his City Council seat and Ognibene played a key role in helping Bloomberg get the Wilson Pekula from the Queens GOP to run as a Republican.

Although if I do recall correctly there was a whiff of scandal about Ognibene many years back that prevented him from getting a judgeship.

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[ Parent ]
Glad to hear Clinton stumping for Brown
Hopefully he cuts and advertisement for him as well.  That will definitely give Brown a much needed boost.

Still having a hard time believing that Nate Silver favors CA-Gov for Whitman, my Registered Republican/ but mainly libertarian Room mate is starting to sour on her when I told him about how much money she is spending.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

This surprises me
Remember all the crap about Clinton being a politician of "bad character" because of his private failings? Campaigning for Brown under these circumstances shows great strength of character, in the sense that he's putting the political over the personal and refusing to allow himself to take so much offense over intemperate remarks by Brown - whose campaign against him in 1992 was in any case bullshit from the word "go" - that he would harm Democratic chances for CA-Gov through an act of omission that I believe almost any other politician would take. I am somewhat awed that Clinton would actually campaign for Brown in this situation. Clinton. A politician of character!

(Why do I say Brown's presidential campaign was bullshit? I supported him because he promised to raise taxes on the wealthy and balance the budget. When Clinton got into office and got much milder tax increases passed than what Brown had proposed during the campaign, Brown harshly criticized Clinton for - I'm paraphrasing - soaking the middle class. That's when I lost all respect for Brown, although I still think Whitman would be a lot worse.)

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

[ Parent ]
Best Ellsworth percentage since May. Somewhat supports what I've been saying - it will close. I would still like to see a poll from another firm.

Organizing for America
is working very hard in Indiana. I can tell you from first hand experience. We are making ten's of thousands of calls, registering people to vote, and canvassing. This is the remnants of the 2008 Obama campaign. This race WILL be close.  

19, Self Appointed Chair of the SSP Gay Caucus (I claimed it first :p), male, Dem, IN-09 (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09)

[ Parent ]
Pretty good website
from Sestak: http://therealtoomeyforsenate....

I don't know how much these websites actually accomplish, but it hits Toomey--hard.

NY-14, DC-AL (college) Distraught Mets fan

Attack sites
I have never seen any evidence either way, but I doubt they work.  Again I am a skeptic of robocalls where some people swear by them.  

23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

[ Parent ]
Robocalls are actual voter contact, while attack sites are not......
I, too, am skeptical of robocalls, but at least they reach actual voters directly!

No one goes to an attack site except partisan political junkies who never miss an election and always vote for the same party.

Web sites are passive, invading people's homes and cars with calls and mail and TV and radio ads is active.

Active trumps passive.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Robocalls reach some voters
Others, like me, hang up when we determine there is no actual person on the other line.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

[ Parent ]
Is it at all possible that Sestak is running a stealth campaign?
I mean, this is what he did against Specter.  I had a feeling that Sestak had no chance of winning after I continued to see that Specter was up all the way until a few weeks before the primary.

Sestak could be hording his money till October, and then will start hitting Toomey hard, and could start surging.

At least, I hope this is what will occur.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
Well, that's the idea
Here's my fear/hunch - Toomey could well pull to a beefy, double-digit, Portman-esque lead over the next few weeks (if he doesn't already have one). If that happens, it becomes a mountain-high climb for Sestak to bring down Toomey's numbers by that margin. Also, as I've said before, I think it's plausible that Tom Corbett could drag a bloodied, battered Toomey across the finish line. Right now, Toomey doesn't even have a scratch.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]
I think what you said will happen
Toomey will lead by low double digits until October, and Sestak and the Dems will surge like they always do at the end in PA, and Toomey will win by 2-4%.  Sestak will be kicking himself and wondering why he didn't define Toomey earlier.

38, male, conservative Republican, TX-3 currently (IL-13)

[ Parent ]
He's Been Running Campaign Ads
I've seen them on tv frequently this week. So he's not waiting until October.

[ Parent ]
Sestak has been attacking
Sestak has been on the air since Labor Day.  The problem is that for every one of his ads, Toomey/conservative groups run three ads against him or for Toomey.

Sestak has numerous problems:
1)  He is not doing well in the southeast.  The House polling seems to point Toomey winning by high single / low double digits in the southeastern suburbs.  Basically the socially liberal economically conservative upper middle class / upper class voters are abandoning the Democrats.  I suspect his position on the tax cuts is hurting him substantially.  Attacking him for being part of Wall Street seems to not matter to suburban voters either.  Obama's popularity has fallen significantly in this region from nearly 60 percent to 40 percent.  If this holds into 2012, Obama will lose Pennsylvania.

2)  Sestak has taken some really unpopular positions in terms of drilling in the Marcellus Shale.  Even Rendell has been attacking him for calling for a moratorium on drilling.

3)  Sestak cannot attack Toomey on social issues because Toomey does not talk about them or even seem to care about them.  Sure he is against abortion, but he is about as active on the issue as Corbett.  In fact, an anti-abortion activist tried to primary him and got crushed.

4)  Sestak has never ran against someone who was not wounded.  His impressive record includes Weldon (corruption scandals), Craig Williams (grossly underfunded), and Specter (no explanation necessary).  Toomey is a very dynamic campaigner and very well funded.

5)  Toomey is not scary.  He is not Santorum and comes off more as a conservative John Heinz.  

6)  Onorato is DOA.  With the exception of Philadelphia County and metro Pittsburgh, Onorato is getting slaughtered by Corbett.  Polls in PA-8 and PA-6 have him up by double digits.  The farthest east I have seen an Onorato sign or bumper sticker is Westmoreland County.

23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

[ Parent ]
Hand-wave away.
    So it's not an accomplishment to defeat an incumbent who has been in the Senate since the '70s?

  I certainly agree with you on the outside funding.  It's hard to compete against the funding power of big business.  Is there any other candidate more beholden to corporate interests than Pat Toomey?  I think not.

   I do not buy the polls that Sestak is trailing in the SEPA suburbs.  If he were really down 10 in the suburbs he would be losing by 15 statewide.  Rasmussen has him down 6.  It reminds me of when Tom Davis went on the radio in early September claiming how internal polling was showing McCain ahead in the NoVa suburbs.  Of course, McCain got slaughtered there.  From my experience in Sestak's home district, he remains the most popular political figure in the county.

   Sestak was already beating Weldon before his scandal came out.

24, Male, GA-05

[ Parent ]
I live in the district too
I live in PA-7 and I have seen several homes in my neighborhood with Toomey signs that had Sestak signs two years ago.  Additionally, the polls we saw in PA-8 recently and PA-6 earlier showed Sestak down by high single digits - low double digits.

I suspect Onorato and Sestak are both doing better than expected out west.  If I had to guess, we will see a result more resembling Santorum's victory in 1994.

23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

[ Parent ]
That how it will end up IMO
with Sestak doing better than Wofford in SE PA, and Toomey better than Santorum in central and Western PA.  But do remember that Santorum led by double digits well in to October, and ended up winning by 2%.

I think Onorato will also close the gap toward the end, and Corbett will win by high single digits.  PA rarely gives a candidate a double digit win for an open seat.  

38, male, conservative Republican, TX-3 currently (IL-13)

[ Parent ]
Especially not in a state like Pennsylvania
That's sort of what I'm thinking about in Ohio and Missouri, although given Portman's absurd money advantage over Fisher I could very easily be wrong about that.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

[ Parent ]
Your constant pessimism about Sestak's chances notwithstanding, like '94 when Santorum won, in even an average year, Toomey would not have a chance to win.  He's too conservative on economic issues for PA.  I continue to believe that if Sestak keeps hitting Toomey hard on those issues, through ads and mailing in places like Montgomery and Bucks counties, he can win.  But he will also needs to gin up the AA turnout in Philadelphia.  Obama could be helpful there.

[ Parent ]
The same way he was
For Specter?

[ Parent ]
Yea someone needs to tell Scotty Ras to put down the crack pipe.  I believe it can be a three point race, but no poll has had either of them with that much support.

23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

Chuck Grassley's birthday today--he's now 77.

His take on the small business tax credit bill the Senate passed yesterday was basically, "I wrote the bill before I voted against it." (He claims Democrats added too much spending.)

"Tough grandma" Roxanne Conlin is up with a positive ad:

Simultaneously she's running a negative ad hitting Grassley for voting for the bailout.

Thoughts about Alaska
There's probably 2 schools of thought on whether Lisa M. running a write-in campaign helps or hurts McAdams, but I'm sorry to say I fall into the line of thinking that it hurts him (though I really hope someone can convince me otherwise).

I really believe that McAdams would have a decent shot of winning a two-way race, but it seems to me that the moderate, anti-Miller vote will be more likely to go to Lisa.  A lot of these voters may not like the way Lisa was appointed, but voters who would otherwise go for McAdams will feel they have to vote for the person most likely to stop Miller.

I think it's a slam dunk that a Murkowski write-in helps McAdams......
I know PPP polled Murkowski and found she hurts McAdams more than Miller, but I don't trust just one poll in what is a difficult-to-poll 3-way in a difficult-to-poll state.

And that poll assumed Murkowski would be on the ballot as a Libertarian.

A write-in campaign is very different, she's going to win only her strongest supporters.  Asking people to write in your name over the major party nominees is a bigger ask than asking them to vote for you as a printed choice on their ballots.  The difference matters, she's not going to do as well, and the votes she wins are going to come from her strongest supporters who are pro-establishment and mostly are habitual Republican voters.

I'm rooting for her to jump in and try this.

But there's a downside for us:  if she doesn't gain enough traction to actually have a chance to win, she can abandon the effort at any time and tell her supporters she's discontinuing her campaign.  That throws her supporters' votes right back to Miller.

There's no doubt in my mind that if Murkowski is committed to a write-in effort right through election day, McAdams will benefit.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
I suspect that it also makes
AK-SEN almost impossible to poll, as it is impossible to accurately judge how much of a factor that the "bigger ask" you reference is.  Guess we'll find out November 2, because I can't see any way to meaningfully poll this.

34, WM, Democrat, FL-11

[ Parent ]
Interesting commentary
Murkowski's back in the game, baby:

[ Parent ]
My sense on this is that she isn't as moderate as Crist, and this won't become an FL-Sen situation.  I think this will, if anything, split the GOP vote, giving SSP endorsed McAdams a chance.

If we win AK-Sen, but lose in KY, OH, and PA I will be a happy Camper.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
Not sure on how this affects Miller and McAdams
Supposedly Murkowski would hurt McAdams by splitting the moderate vote and allowing Miller to easily win with the right-wing Republican vote. But a write in can be very predictable. Only her most hardcore and loyal supporters would likely vote for her, likely loyal Republicans who would never vote for McAdams, not the independents and conservative Democrats that would have generally voted for her in the general if she had won the primary or had her name on the ballot as a Libertarian.

This is probably a stupid decision on her part. She clearly wants to continue her political career, but she could have taken a break and then become the leading GOP candidate for either governor or Senate against Begich in 2014, instead she is all but ending her political career by pissing of Republicans, especially if her write-in bid helps elect McAdams.

Even if it does the opposite and Miller wins handily because of this, it's still a major slight to the GOP leadership.

[ Parent ]
I made the same point as you in a comment here, that this clearly helps McAdams......
Everyone is too wedded to a single PPP poll that showed Murkowski as a Libertarian hurting us more than Miller.  That poll's reliability was questionable because voters are fluid and unpredictable in a 3-way like this, and on top of it Murkowski as a write-in is very different from her name printed on the ballots.

This helps McAdams, period, if she sticks it out through the election.

And here's the tell on that point:  Senate GOP leadership pressured her not to do it, publicly and privately from what I've read.  If they thought she'd actually hurt McAdams more or that it would be a wash, they wouldn't care as much, they'd just write her off as having lost her mind.  But they are worried about McAdams winning a 3-way.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
What're you looking at?
A 40-30-30 situation, with McAdams taking the lion's share?

[ Parent ]
Well the Murkowski news is disappointing
apparently nobody in her camp can do math. Because Miller is a lock with Murkowski running as a write-in.

Unrelated: If there's any place where top 2 would make the system better, it's Washington DC. Just list the candidates and the party on their voter registration, narrow the field to 2 for November, and go from there. Also would be nifty if that whole 2 Senators and 1 Rep thing could happen sometime in this century.

On DC I'm kind of surprised Fenty didn t make some effort to run in the general
I got to beleive he would have has a better shot at beating Gray in the general. I am surprised he didnt make some effort to run that way if he lost the Dem primary.

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[ Parent ]
PPP has 2012 presidential numbers

Apparently Obama is doing fairly well in this current environment, and is only losing to Huckabee.

My thoughts on this is that Huckabee never got any traction outside the south during the primaries, hence no one know how DAMN CONSERVATIVE this guy is.  It's one thing to be an Ayotte conservative, where you don't bring out the social conservative religious fervor and focus on fiscal conservatism, but it's another where you are open about your Far right Social Conservatism.  It may play well in the GOP primary, but I have a feeling the country as a whole won't go for it, and give Obama another term easily if Huckabee is the Nominee.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

This is an improvement across the board for Obama compared to PPP's last poll......
I recall they had Obama tied with Palin a month ago, 46-46, and ironically that poll came out the same day Newsweek had Obama crushing Palin 55-34.  Tells you how unreliable polling is 2 years out!

Still, I'm pretty heartened that among the most-discussed possible candidates, only Huckabee leads Obama, and frankly he's a paper...well, kitten, not even a tiger.

What's weird is that I don't see any of the tested candidates capable of surviving the primaries, all these people are C-list or D-list.  Romney arguably is B-list, but the way GOP voters just said "meh" and rejected him proves he just doesn't do it for anybody.  I still think, and greatly fear, that an establishment Senator or Governor, like Thune or Daniels, will rise to the occasion and get the nomination.  But after O'Donnell beat Castle and all else that happened in the GOP primaries, I think it's very possible one of these cranks could get it.  I never believed that until Tuesday night/Wednesday morning of this week.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
And PPP is still very clearly using a 2010 turnout model
I like PPP and I think they're proving themselves to be worthy of respect for both accuracy and transparency, but all of their presidential polls need to be taken in that light.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

[ Parent ]
Their big failing is not their polling, but their analysis looking ahead......
Whether it's failing to see around the corner in this midterm itself, or projecting into 2012 with absurd confidence that their 2010 numbers will hold up, the PPP guys don't acknowledge the massive caveats that attach to their "looking ahead" commentary.

And you're right, I, too, noticed their 2012 polling used a 2010 turnout model, with Obama beating McCain by just a point and more conservatives and fewer liberals or moderates in the electorate than we should expect.

Obama remains in good shape.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Still think only Romney can beat him
At the end of the day, moderate Independents will support even a 45%-approval Obama over the likes of Gingrich, Huckabee, and Palin. Romney's a real threat though, methinks, especially if Obama's numbers aren't so hot. I can surely imagine him playing well in both the OH/MI/PA and CO/NV regions, and I think NC/IN are goners anyway.

My hunch is the following candidates run...

Mitch Daniels
Newt Gingrich
Mike Huckabee
Gary Johnson
Sarah Palin
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum

Gingrich/Huck/Palin split the social conservative vote, handing Romney an Iowa win. Game over.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]
If That's the Line-Up
I'd say it's going to be Daniels. He's extremely well liked by the establishment. And he's the only person on that list (apart from Johnson, who the media won't take seriously) who won't try to out-right-wing the rest. That'll give him space to win. Though it'd probably be easier for him if the Republicans weren't trying to ditch their winner-take-all primaries.

[ Parent ]
I can't see Daniels
Yeah, maybe he can win in the same way that Bill Haslam in TN and Rick Snyder in MI won - letting the crazies split the vote. But I'm still pretty skeptical. Daniels gets a lot of support among GOP moderates, the party intellectuals, and the business wing, but the former two have negligible influence these days. And Daniels has a background that the Tea Partiers are not going to like - relatively moderate record, impeccable establishment credentials. He's also far from a firebrand, and even his criticisms of Obama tend to be a lot more restrained than even Romney's.

Oh, and he's already pissed of RW'ers by (a) calling for de-emphasizing social issues, and (b) saying in Newsweek that taxes will probably have to increase at some point. He's basically every conservative intellectual - and lots of Democrats' - ideal Republican, which doesn't cross over to the GOP base.  

[ Parent ]
Daniels would do very well in open primary states. With no real D primary, independents and even some Ds will vote in the R primary. These people are more likely to vote for their favorite R than to make mischief: this is why McCain won Michigan in 2000. (I voted for him in the MI primary, and then voted for Gore in the general.)

41, Ind, CA-05

[ Parent ]
With no Democratic Presidential primary, a lot of people who voted in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary will vote in the Republican primary.  We could easily see Mitch Daniels pull a Rick Snyder and come up the middle while the nuts beat the snot out of each other.

23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

[ Parent ]
Nope, most Republican primaries are closed. New Hampshire is open and...
...all the anti-Obama independents in that state will vote in the GOP primary, but elsewhere you have to be a registered Republican.  Obviously the exceptions include states where there is no voter registration by party, like my Virginia (you can request a primary ballot for either party here, but not both, on a primary day where both parties have contested primaries).

For the most part, the hard right will have disproportionate influence in selecting the GOP nominee.  For a moderate to overcome that would require a lot of conservative-leaning indies re-registering as Republicans, but the GOP nowhere really has the kind of field organization to accomplish that kind of voter registration program like Democrats have been doing.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't say that
Erick Erickson LOVES Mitch Daniels. And he is from the crazy wing.  

[ Parent ]
I could see Daniels pull a Huck in Iowa
The problem is, and this pertains to Palin/Gingrich/Huck too, Romney is destined to stage a blow-out in NH, and he'll do the same in Michigan as well. Can Daniels really overcome Romney's 'mo heading into South Carolina? I suspect not, although you have to figure this - if Daniels wins Iowa, Palin/Gingrich/Huck are done, and it becomes a two-way race between a red-blooded conservative and a wishy-washy establishment Republican.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]
Daniels can't win Iowa except in a VERY splintered field. The religious right dominates the state GOP......
Pat Robertson finished 2nd behind Dole ahead of Vice President Bush in 1988, that was the 1st sign of the rising fundie influence in the Iowa GOP.  Huckabee won in 2008, and Vander Plaats way outperformed polling against Branstad earlier this year.  There's no sign religious right influence is declining in the state GOP.

That's fatal for Daniels, who clearly is an establishment fiscal conservative and doesn't identify with either tea party anger or cultural conservatives.

Daniels can win Iowa only if he proves the only establishment candidate who can get any traction, which I don't think he can do since Pawlenty from neighboring Minnesota is part of the same set and has been campaigning for President for a long time now.  Also Thune could easily cut into Daniels' potential support in Iowa, not to mention Romney.  So the establishment field potentially will be very divided, opening a door for Huckabee again if he runs.

Ultimately I predict the winner in Iowa once again won't be the GOP nominee, but if he/she is, then Obama will romp to a blowout win in November.

I think we might see a drawn out GOP nomination battle in 2012 because of the institutional fracturs in the GOP.  Iowa and South Carolina reward cultural conservatives, New Hampshire and Michigan reward establishment figures, and Nevada and Florida are more up for grabs.  After that, the mass of primaries are completely unpedictable.  Even with the party's winner-take-all delegate awarding in the states, they could see the thing drag out on and on and on.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
I think Barbour and/or Thune will run
Thune hasn't gotten a lot of mention recently, but there's been a lot of buzz in DC circles that he's the likeliest GOP senator to jump into the race. Honestly, it can't hurt. I actually think he's probably the "best" they've got, in that although he's a little generic, he doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, is acceptable to ALL portions of the party base (the teapartiers, the evangelicals, the business wing, the establishment), and is non-scary enough for moderates and swing voters to consider him.

I also think Barbour is likelier to run than Daniels. I've seen speculation that both won't run because they're apparently extremely close friends and allies, and Barbour seems to have been much more active in building a network than Daniels.  

[ Parent ]
CA-Sen, CA-Gov: PPP teases that Boxer and Brown both lead!......
Curious to me considering Brown has run a terrible campaign and his Clinton gaffe still seems fresh, but PPP's blog says CA Dems are in better shape than before, and that Fiorina and Whitman aren't getting enough Dem crossover support (only 10%-11%) to win.

Assuming they're using a full-bore LV model now, that further heartens me.

Their numbers won't be out until Monday for Senate, and Guv later.

But things are looking up for us on the West Coast.  Now I hope Kitzhaber can join the rally.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

West Coast?
More like Best Coast!

I had a feeling that Brown wasn't as down against Whitman as many of the polls said, and PPP the pollster I trust the most this cycle, I mean, the last time they were wrong in a state wide race was...  Hell, I don't even know.

If PPP says Boxer and Brown are leading, I'll believe it in an instant.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
Brown has been running a great campaign
except for the Clinton bumble.  His campaign has been near brilliant so far.  While all the no-nothings were wanting him to waste money in the summer when it didn't matter in the slightest, he waited until the exact day he should have (the day after Labor day) to start his TV commercials... some of which are mild (deliberately so I think) and at least one of which (Pinocchio) is pretty ruthless.

Something a lot of people here don't understand is Jerry Brown's key weakness is he kind of wore out his welcome... thirty freaking years ago.  Seeing Jerry Brown on TV all summer would have made people puke.  He has been very, very smart to stay low-key as long as possible.

All he has to do is remind people he is the Democratic douche he always has been and Whitman is a billionaire Republican.  End of story, win by 6+ points.

The one fly in the ointment is Whitman's commercials are far better than her spring ones (not nearly as viscious), and the Chamber of Commerce is also running excellent negative but non-vicious commercials with a whole different emphasis.  The Chamber plus the Clinton ad make a really compelling case that recycling Brown is something less than a great idea for the state.  They don't offer a compelling reason to support Whitman though, and that is why she will fail in the end.

[ Parent ]
Not true.
Many Democrats, including myself, are appalled that Brown is running again. And one thing a lot of people don't want to do is go back to the past. There will be people in CA-26 voting Whitman/Boxer.

I would have voted for Campbell if he had beaten Whitman in the primary ... but he probably wouldn't have. Younger voters really do not like Jerry Brown.  

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

[ Parent ]
I'm glad we have tommy here to remind us that...
...we're going to gain 10 Senate seats and 40 House seats to finally establish veto-proof majorities in both chambers because the polling and campaign reports are all wrong.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Actually i just reminded you your comment was totally off base
Brown has run a great campaign.  As the post you responded to points out, people don't like Brown.  You want an unliked guy to have been making a nuisance of himself all summer.

That makes no political sense at all.

[ Parent ]
I would challenge that
I'm 19, I never lived under Jerry Brown as governor and I would assume everyone under 27 hasn't either, considering his term ended in '83. I only remember bits of Davis and most of Arnies term.  I am a strong Brown supporter just based on the fact that he took the reins after Ronald Reagan, and made it work.

I have no idea why everyone is down on Brown, he seems like a fantastic AG to me, and if he is such a horrible candidate, why didn't Newsome capitalize on it and win the primary?  I would argue that while he isn't well liked, he is still liked enough to have cleared the primary.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
How liberal is he?
I get the feeling he's a Corporate Democrat, and I certainly don't need another Dianne Feinstein (corporate Democrat) in California. See my word choice between moderate and conservative Democrat.  

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

[ Parent ]
Seems like he isn't a corporate dem to me
He is pretty tough on corporation as AG who have ripped of the state.

And if this says anything, he ran to the left if Clinton in 1992 for president.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
The main
reason I am against him is he is the past. I don't need a governor from the 1970s. And its probably not in California's best interests too.

I have heard the corporate Dem argument thrown out by some people here, so that's why I was asking about him.

I'll vote for him, but because the alternative is Meg.

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

[ Parent ]
Which again makes you directly agreeing with what I wrote
Brown is not liked.  Whitman is not liked.

Brown needs to spend six weeks pointing out he is the disliked D and Whitman is the disliked R.

D beats R in California under that circumstance.

[ Parent ]
What is not true? You just agreed with me and then said "not true".
Which is it?

As I said, Brown is not liked, so he kept his exposure to a minumum when it didn't matter... while delighting in Whitman being just as loathed as him.

Campbell could have beaten Brown, but Campbell ain't running.

[ Parent ]
The not true statement is this:
All he has to do is remind people he is the Democratic douche he always has been and Whitman is a billionaire Republican.  End of story, win by 6+ points.

Sorry for being a little vague on that. There are voters who would rather have Whitman than Brown. Brown is from the 1970s, and pre-a lot of the problems. Whitman is newer, and a fresh face. In some people's minds, this trumps everything. Voters are falling for the same thing they did with our current governor, who turned out to be a disaster.

Her ads have been better since August, and Brown's ads have been kind of boring. Interestingly, I have not seen a single ad from Fiorina or Boxer or anyone else.

Ultimately, Brown should win, because of what you said. But that means that a good portion of Democrats (including me) will vote for him in "meh" style. There will be some that will fall for Whitman. (as I said, like CA-GOV in 2003)

Whitman should take Independents by a healthy dose.  

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

[ Parent ]
I agree with that, but your explaination leads to my conclusion
If Brown was "sensible generic D" like Brad Sherman or Mike Thompson or Leon Panetta even, they would all win by more than six points.

Running this year, with Arnold to attack, a solid Dem could win by 15 points against Whitman.  But we have a poor candidate (better than the mayors would have been though) who lots of people are tired of and will vote for Whitman because of that.  This group of people is not enough to decide the election though.

Tom Campbell with half Brown's money could beat him.  Whitman with six times Brown's money likely can't.

[ Parent ]
Tom Ganley
Has anyone read his Wikipedia page? Reads just like a campaign flyer:  

NY-14, DC-AL (college) Distraught Mets fan

All you gotta do is look at who edits the page the most

Those bumper stickers should give it away.  If I were a wiki mod, I'd suggest that the article has neutrality issues.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
Some Wikipedia pages are like that
Anybody remember former-Rep. Bob McEwen's page? For a non-descript and forgotten Ohio Republican congressman, he's got quite a profile. I haven't checked in some time, but for quite awhile his profile was longer than most world-historical figures and went into extreme and fawning detail. It was also, bafflingly, a featured article on Wikipedia for a week.

Almost certainly written by his campaign or members of his staff. (He ran in the primary for the seat Jean Schmidt now holds.)

[ Parent ]
I'm writing an article for my college paper. Does anyone know how much Carlyforia Dreamin' has spent on her campaign?

NY-14, DC-AL (college) Distraught Mets fan

$5.5 million
According to, through June 30th. I'm guessing she's thrown in more since then.

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08

[ Parent ]
We wont find out until October 15th
I think she will pour her money into it when she is ready to start ad buys, which should be soon.

[ Parent ]
This poll is week old but I just found it (Probably on SSP somewhere but I didn't see it).

Walt Minnick - 59.8%

Raul Labrador - 29.6%

Dave Olson - 5.4%

Mike Washburn - 5.2%

"Where free Unions and collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost." - Ronald Reagan

What if Murkowski came out and said she would Caucus with Dems?

Why in the world would she caucus with Republicans anyway, She already knows her top posts are gone and she won't be getting their support or welcome hand at all.


Because she can't win that way
There aren't enough Democrats in Alaska, especially not if she'd have to split them with McAdams. She'll caucus with the Republicans because it's her only chance for winning at all.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

[ Parent ]
I cannot
believe that Chet Edwards is running that ad. I don't care if you want to run from the HCR, by claiming it was a trillion dollar plan (it was what... 800 billion?), but to say that Democrats want to "take our guns away" is ABSURD. Much to my disappointment, this has been the most gun-friendly, pro-NRA  Congress in decades.

If Chet Edwards is going to blatantly lie like that, I could care less whether he gets reelected.  

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

He gets a pass from me
He isnt even in the Blue Dog caucus and he didnt announce his vote on HCR until the very end (when they probably knew they had it all lined up and didnt need his vote).  He's a totally good guy trying to do what he can in the district that he's in.

[ Parent ]
If you are going to outright
lie like that then you don't deserve to be a representative. That's for sure. And I highly doubt Edwards even considered voting for HCR; I remember when he voted against whatever budget Spratt tried to pass this year, the reason was for "political reasons"

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

[ Parent ]
Sympathetic but with Andrew
I felt disgusted by Edwards' ad.  I felt even more disgusted knowing that my donations to his campaign helped fund it.  Nonetheless, Edwards is a real Democrat.  His former staffers have won hard fought state House races.  When ever I have reviewed his voting record, I always come to conclusion that Edwards votes as Democratic as his district would possibly let him.  Furthermore, I'm pretty certain that the 2010 redistricted maps will end up in court.  I think if Edwards wins this seat again, then it will help Democrats make a better case for more seats in court.  So, I will reluctantly give him a pass.  

[ Parent ]
The question is, why would you say
that liberals have been trying to take our guns away? They haven't. Even in that district, a better message would be, "And Chet voted to allow guns on Amtrak trains and in national parks" and wherever else guns have been allowed in the last two years. You ARE not a real Democrat if you are going to be ignorant of the facts. (see Blanche Lincoln and Joe Lieberman)

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

[ Parent ]
I'm voting for Abercrombie
What few polls there have been in Hawaii have been encouraging.  I voted for Mufi Hannemann in his mayoral campaigns but now that he's said he would have also vetoed the civil unions bill I am done with him, forever.  Polls show a majority of Americans now support marriage equality, and people like him still can't even come around to civil unions.

All in all, the campaign Hannemann has run this year has been nothing short of shameful.

Abercrombie's a proud liberal and he isn't afraid to run on it.

The split endorsements (reliable Dem vote Inouye backing Hannemann, and conservative Ed Case backing Abercrombie) are unusual, but that's Hawaii's more about the person than the issues, where aside from civil unions the two candidates have not differed on much policy-wise.

What do you say are Hanabusa's chances?

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!

[ Parent ]
I'd say the lowest she could do is 53%
I'm expecting an easy win for her in November.  Djou really benefited from low turnout and two Democrats running.  I don't see any path that returns him to Washington.

[ Parent ]
Although from what I've seen Djou has done a good job in DC
He has not embarrassed himself or made and major mistakes or missteps in congress. Djou's an attractive guy with a good personal story and got a lot of good press after the BP oil spill with his push to repeal of the Jones Act.

He got 40% of the vote in the special. Assuming he keeps that he needs to pick up another 10% to win.

Case took 27% of the vote. Djou only needs to win 1/3 of that Case vote to win.

A lot of that Case vote was Conservative Dems and Independents. In a Republican wave year at least part of that vote might break to Djou.

I just think that this might be a little closer than people think. I call this one a toss up.

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[ Parent ]
If Rasmussen is to be believed (big IF, but still)
the Governor race in Massachusetts becomes essentially tossup, as i predicted 2-3 month ago. It's not clear what's better for CAhill - continue campaign, which seems hopeless now, or - drop and thus avoid humiliation of finishing in single digits.

That Minnick ad is disgusting

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